It is no surprise that Social Media has evolved in the last few years with one of the major shifts being the opportunity it presents for businesses. Businesses small and large are experimenting with various social media platforms with mixed results. While there are lot of success stories, there are a fair share of goof-ups by companies.
Social Media platforms themselves are evolving by the day as they try to bring in more efficient ways for brands to engage their consumers. With more and more organizations jumping in the social media wave, interesting trends are emerging with respect to social media usage in organizations.
Booz & Co. has come out with a detailed report titled Campaigns To Capabilities Social Media & Marketing 2011 on how organizations are leveraging Social Media for their businesses and the finer details pertaining to ownership of social media efforts as well as budgets.
Most Organizations Use Multiple Social Media Platforms
Facebook being the most used platform does not come across as a surprise but the usage of Linkedin is significantly low (Linkedin is also aggressively working on features pertaining to Company pages, the impact of those should be interesting to watch going forward).
Another interesting trend is experimentation with Company-owned internal Social platforms (25%) which I assume is largely for inter-company collaboration
Social Media Ownership
Marketing, Digital and PR Drive Social Media Initiatives For The Most Part!
Social Media ownership is a tricky bit for businesses and they are constantly experimenting to find the perfect mix when it comes to which department(s) need to control the social media initiatives.
Even as Marketing, Digital and PR seem to own Social Media efforts for a company, there are a wide range of departments who have a say. This wide range is possibly due to the multiple use-cases for using Social media right from customer service to sales to soliciting customer ideas for product development. However, majority of companies (96%) definitely use social media for advertising and promotional campaigns.
There are additional trends which suggest that Social Media is no more in ‘experiment mode’ and is a serious business. Based on my experience in the enterprise segment, executive sponsorship decides the success of any new company level initiative. The report highlights that social media has the backing of senior executives
Almost 40% of the companies indicate that Social Media is part of the CEO’s agenda and ~35% of the companies have a senior executive who is responsible for company wise social media efforts
Increased Budgets For Social Media Are Coming
Whoever told you that Social media is free does not know what he / she is talking. Social media is a serious business and costs money. The only good thing is that companies realize this and are willing to invest more in their social media initiatives
Around 39% of the companies intend to spend substantially more resources on social media while 57% of the companies surveyed suggest investing somewhat more resources in the future. No company intends to reduce their spend on social media. The largest investment in social media currently seems to be centered around human resource (hiring full-time employees to handle social media initiatives)
Social Media Spending To Eat Into Traditional Digital Budgets
A big cause of worry for the likes of Google which lives on traditional banner based advertising. Not that companies are expected to stop their traditional digital marketing activities, but social media is expected to eat into the budgets generally reserved for digital advertising
Interesting, isn’t it!! Social Media is expected to draw from digital media budgets while also drawing from more traditional print media budgets and the likes. There is obviously the shift from print to digital which is critical to understanding the above chart. Even as social media draws more from digital budgets than print media, the digital media budget itself is increasing significantly
Social media and its implications for businesses are getting intense by the day. With the fast pace of changes in the social media platforms as well as how companies adopt different platforms, it will be interesting to watch what Social Media can deliver for businesses.
What are your thoughts on Social media usage by companies?